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September 26 Board Meeting
Highlights from September 26 Board of Trustees Meeting
Posted on 10/01/2018
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October 1, 2018 (Brockville, ON) – Trustees with the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) met on Wednesday, September 26 to discuss several agenda items. 

Rural Guidance Counsellor Pilot Project: Director Stephen Sliwa and Superintendent Ron Ferguson updated trustees on the Rural Guidance Counsellor Pilot Project. The project, which began in February 2017, has seen the Board invest $1.8 million in specialized provincial funding to boost guidance counsellor staffing at 15 rural high schools. The project runs until the end of June 2019. Funds are also being used for staff development in the key areas of skills that supports personal counselling, academic counselling, career counselling and health coaching. It has allowed schools to ensure at least one full-time counsellor is on staff at each school during each semester. 

York University has been a partner in this program and has aided in facilitating the training for staff and program implementation. Staff have received counselling training and will continue to as the program progresses in many areas of well-being including nutrition, lifestyle, positive peer relationships, fitness and self-care. The schools that qualified for the program were: Almonte District High School, Athens District High School, Char-Lan District High School, Gananoque Secondary School, Glengarry District High School; Perth District Collegiate Institute; Rideau District High School; Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute, Russell High School, Tagwi Secondary School and Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute. 

Ferguson confirmed the program has been well received. Students have reported that the extra guidance support has reduced their stress levels. Staff have said the program allows them to pay more individualized attention to students. 

Sliwa and Ferguson were joined in the presentation by York University Faculty of Health representatives Marianne Koh and Dr. Michael Coons. 

Transportation Efficiencies Update: Superintendent Deanna Perry presented on recent efficiencies implemented by Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario (STEO) in school busing service. STEO provides busing services to both the Upper Canada District School Board and the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario.  

Changes to achieve efficiencies were approved by the STEO Board of Directors in March and went into effect September 1.  The changes include the following: 

  • an increase of 400 metres in the walk zone for Grade 7 and 8 students. This brings the walk zone for Grade 7 and 8 students to 2 km, which is in alignment with the walk zone for high school students.
  • Removal of courtesy seats for students within the established walk zone for the school. 

Trustees requested that UCDSB representatives on the STEO board of directors would convey their comments about the implementation of these adjustments to transportation services and to keep them apprised of the impact of the changes on the community and the Board’s budget. 

You can view the complete agenda from the September 26 meeting here.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Stephen Sliwa
Director of Education
Upper Canada District School Board
613-342-0371 ext. 1234

Jeff McMillan
Upper Canada District School Board

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